Saturday, October 13, 2012

Most Important Meal

Later tonight the annual Halloween film festival will continue with GREMLINS 2. In the meantime, we've watched the Frank Langella version of DRACULA. Having just read the book, I found myself becoming one of those annoying people who says, "That's not in the novel!" and "THAT'S not in the novel!" And really not much of the novel was in the movie. But honestly, no Dracula movie really represents what's in the novel. The novel is a lot better than any Dracula movie I've seen, though I sure hate to be a guy who says things like that. The Langella DRACULA was enjoyable. It did bring out the native sauciness of Dr. Theresa, who kept saying things like, "Jonathan is kind of a ****" and "Her dad is a *****!" One thing that especially got under her skin was the way Donald Pleasance responded to tragedy by eating breakfast. I had to tell her that that IS in the novel: the characters are constantly eating a hearty breakfast to fortify themselves for a battle against Dracula. "Well, it is the most important meal of the day," said Dr. Theresa with notable sarcasm. I have never before seen this version, but when Megan Abbott was in town, she and Dr. Theresa discussed their shared childhood trauma of watching Frank Langella as Dracula climb down a wall toward his victim. See, now, that IS in the novel, the wall-climbing, I mean, but in a different context (OH, WHO CARES? WOULD YOU LISTEN TO ME?). In fact, last night at the party at Faulkner's house (at which, I forgot to tell you, they served raw oysters from my hometown), I saw Lee Durkee, who said that DRACULA is one of the few books he has ever read - maybe the only one - that truly scared him. The image he brought up in particular was, as I think he put it, Dracula "spider-walking down the castle wall." Lee thought that my mentioning certain sentences from DRACULA on the "blog" was a way of making fun of the novel, but not at all. I found it incredibly scary, too. My sister is reading it now and she is also scared. We're all scared. He's scary.